Feeds

GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

Programmer Julie Horvath quits as unnamed co-founder, spurned engineer put on leave

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

GitHub is investigating allegations of sexism and inappropriate behaviour towards its female employees after one code jockey quit and went public on Twitter.

Software engineer Julie Horvath left the VC-funded site last week, telling world+dog of an unpleasant culture at work.

Horvath used her Twitter profile to allege she had been “harassed by the leadership" of GitHub for two years.”

The programmer spoke to TechCrunch about, among other things, a strange series of run-ins with an unnamed co-founder of GitHub and his wife.

She also claimed to have experienced harassment from a male colleague whom she alleges ripped her code from projects after she turned down his romantic advances.

But, says Horvath, the act that made her leave was her female colleagues hula-hooping in the office to music while the men of GitHub reportedly ogled them “like something out of a strip club”.

GitHub chief executive and co-founder Chris Wanstrath said a “full investigation” had been launched.

Also, the “relevant founder” and the GitHub engineer whom Horvath accuses of harassing her have been put on leave.

GitHub is a six-year-old, venture-funded startup with 10 million code repositories. The company landed $100m in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz.

Horvath signed out after two years with GitHub. After resigning, she told an audience on Twitter that her only regret was not leaving or being fired sooner.

“What I endured as an employee of GitHub was unacceptable and went unnoticed by most,” she said.

“Don’t stand for aggressive behavior that’s disguised as ‘professional feedback’ and demand that harassment isn’t tolerated,” she told others on Twitter.

Horvath told TechCrunch that a person who she described as a "founder" of GitHub, but did not name, had invited her to drinks with his wife and that the wife subsequently made a range of claims: that she informed her husband’s decisions, was responsible for GitHub hires, and operated a network of spies through the company. Horvath claimed the woman warned her against leaving the company and writing anything negative about the startup.

The programmer took the matter to HR, with the result the co-founder accused Horvath of threatening his wife, and, according to Hogarth, "chastised" her and "called her liar".

Horvath claimed the wife then began showing up at the workplace and shadowing her around the company.

In yesterday's response, Wanstrath denied the unnamed founder’s wife had ever had hiring or firing power at the company and said she will no longer be permitted in the office.

Horvath also claimed to TechCrunch that a spurned colleague – another software engineer – had begun ripping her code contributions from projects after she turned down his advances.

The engineer claimed the "final straw" was when a pair of female fellow workers were hula hooping to music at the office and their male colleagues lined up "on one bench facing the hoopers and gawk[ed] at them". ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.